#ISSAGOesplaces: First Hike! {032416}

I have ALWAYS wanted to do this, traveling and writing! I'm finally taking the first step into creating a travel blog, to explore the PH while sharing it to others.

I have never hiked up a mountain before, with the exception of CAT outings where the hill was small and muddy. My only experience with rock climbing was in an adventure camp where I ended up going down halfway because I was too overweight to carry myself up. I have no idea why I even chose hiking up a mountain, let alone two! But it was there and I registered before I could change my mind, so off I went to Rodriguez, Rizal for my first ever climb.

I arrived in Cubao at 4:30AM, meeting some of the hikers, who thankfully, were beginners themselves. We took an FX going to Rizal and a tricycle going to the registration area. Once we were registered and took photos, we started our trek going up the junction. It was easy, just a few rocks and some slippery steps, but I managed to keep my balance (and sanity). Once we got to the junction, I thought that was it, but it was actually just the middle of the two mountains we were climbing! Yeeks. We ended up taking a short break before ascending to the first mountain, Mt. Hapunang Banoi.

It was such a long trek going up, but I didn't slip or anything, much to my surprise and excitement. Mind you, I'm a very clumsy and accident prone person (My phone was stolen two days before this trek!), so not falling was a feat.

An hour or two after, we ended up reaching the summits and taking a break and a few photos!

My dad yelped seeing this! :((

My mom almost killed me with these photos, haha

Next off was going down, which was a bit harder than going up. Took a lot of balance and courage, but I managed to stretch them legs and use the endurance I gained from walking and running!

Once we got to the junction, we had lunch. There's only one carinderia while the other stores just sold crisps and ready to eat cakes, crackers, and the like. They also sold coconut juice, softdrinks, and halo-halo! Fair prices and good food, too. I had the caldereta and rice for 65 PHP.

At this point, I was exhausted and thinking of staying, but I decided to go and finish this hike! Mt. Pamitinan was said to be easier as it was a shorter trail, but because of its steepness and very sharp rocks, I thought it just the same, even harder at some parts but probably because I was tired.

The photo my parents almost killed me for and threatened to stop my travel dreams altogether haha I won't promise not doing this again, though!

We had to climb up using this rope (no harness) getting up to the final summit!

The whole group up the summit! So much fun with them whee

Had SO much fun and am definitely doing this again. I probably will do this without a group or with one without any packages, as I heard that this would be half the price with transportation and registration fees. I guess I just paid for the organizer and to go meet new people? Either way, had a lot of fun! There was a side trip in Wawa Dam, but because of the crowd and trash, I decided not to go.

Damage was 600 PHP for transportation, guide and registration fees. Add 65 PHP for food and 15 PHP for a bottle of water, so I spent around 700 PHP more or less.

I recommend that you wear long sleeves, denim shorts over leggings, good shoes and a cap. Oh, and hiking gloves!
That, and make sure you bring a LOT of water and ready to eat food like trail snacks and protein bars (to avoid spending for more), a small towel and extra clothes. Other things would be alcohol, a powerbank for your phone, your camera (if you want!), and some extra money just in case.

Next stop: Pico de Loro! So excited for the next, I swear! To the next ones to come :-)


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